A Neuroma is an enlarged nerve. A Morton’s Neuroma, the most common type in the foot, causes intense pain in the ball of the foot that shoots out to the third and fourth toes. Numbness, cramping and tingling in the 3rd or 4th toes is also common. The second and third toes can also be affected, but this is much more uncommon.
A neuroma is diagnosed by good questioning and a physical exam of the foot by a podiatrist. Pressing on certain areas of the foot will reproduce the pain. Squeezing the foot together and pushing up under the nerve will, in many cases, yield a positive “Mulder’s Click”. The clicking feeling associated with pain shooting to the toes is diagnostic for a Morton’s neuroma.
Ways to get immediate relief from the pain:
Sitting down, taking off the shoe, wiggling the toes and massaging the foot generally gives relief. Constant irritation typically causes the nerve sheath to become enlarged. The nerve can become irritated when the foot is cramped in a shoe that is too tight or too flexible. Overuse can also cause the nerve to be injured and activities that generally irritate the nerve include going up and down hills or stairs, squatting and any type of running or jumping.